The Maps That Make Us

Personal essays about the power of maps in shaping our lives.

The Children’s Book Map That Led Me Out of Depression

As a child, I loved the fantastical lands from The Phantom Tollbooth. As a troubled college student, I used them as a roadmap to self-acceptance.

Has a Map Changed Your Life? Tell Us About It.

As part of our series The Maps That Make Us, we’re asking readers to share mini-essays about a map that is especially important.

an illustration depicting a map of the Rio Grande river

Between Texas and Mexico, a Restless Border Defies the Map

In El Paso, we call it the Rio Grande; our neighbors in Juárez know it as Río Bravo. It’s supposed to be a national border, but the river had its own ideas.

The Map That Made Los Angeles Make Sense

For generations in Southern California, the Thomas Guide led drivers through the streets of Los Angeles. Now apps do that. Did something get lost along the way?

A photo-illustration of a map of San Francisco

What Are the Maps That Make Us?

Introducing a new CityLab series of personal essays on the power of maps in shaping our private and public lives.